Sufi Women Organization

SWO Organization

The Sufi Women Organization, founded by Dr. Nahid Angha and with the efforts and contributions of Sufi women from around the globe, was established in 1993 under the auspices of the International Association of Sufism. A forum for all women, it has been tremendously successful in gathering together women from diverse cultural backgrounds who share a dedication to the goals of Sufism, especially with respect to human rights. Our primary humanitarian goals include women’s rights, education, and social awareness. The devotion of all who have volunteered their time, energy and expertise have led to substantial achievements.

SWO Council

Nahid Angha, Ph.D., a Sufi scholar and an author, is a co-director of the International Association of Sufism (IAS), executive editor of the quarterly journal, Sufism: An Inquiry, and founder of the International Sufi Women Organization. She is the main representative of IAS to the United Nations NGO/DPI. She is a human rights activist who has created an ongoing humanitarian work that includes supporting clean water projects and medical services in refugee areas, educational scholarships, grant awards assisting women-owned small businesses, and promoting education and equity for women and girls in rural areas. She has been a university professor, featured in numerous books and collections, served in various leadership roles in interfaith organizations, and is an inductee to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.

Leili First, Ph.D., a student of Uwaiysi Sufism, is a long-time member of the International Association of Sufism and a charter member of Sufi Women Organization. From its inception she has actively supported programs and projects in support of the rights of women, in the local community and around the world. Dr. First has given lectures on Sufism and Women in Islam at colleges and universities and presented at the Annual Sufism Symposium and Parliament of the World’s Religions. She has served on the Marin Interfaith Council, and as an SWO representative at the United Nations meeting of NGOs. She holds a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies.

Mary Granick, MFT, with clients in both California and New Mexico, is a member of the SWO Council, a student of Uwaiysi Sufism and a member of the International Association of Sufism. She has contributed articles in the SPF Newsletter and the journal, Sufism: An Inquiry. She is one of the co-authors of the book, Human Self, Volume I: Body. She has presented her work with Sufism and Psychology at various retreats in the Bay Area. Mary is grateful for the opportunities to serve on various committees and programs for the International Association of Sufism, and for the wisdom and dedication of her teachers, Dr. Nahid Angha, and Dr. Ali Kianfar, who for her, are the perfect mirror of living a life dedicated to humanity and a love for the divine.

Arife Hammerle, Ph.D., holds a Juris Doctorate, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has extensive experience working with clients on relationship development, self growth and communication issues in the Community Healing Centers program affiliated with the International Association of Sufism. She has written many articles and is frequently called upon to give lectures and lead workshops in psycho-spiritual knowledge, Sufi Principles and Practices and Meditation. Dr. Hammerle is a member of the Sufi Women Organization Council. Her work has always focused on social change for the advancement of women and girls. She is a member of the International Association of Sufism and a student of Sufism.  She is an accomplished author who has completed research linking psychology and spirituality.

Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D., is student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. She is a member of the Sufi Women Organization Council, and, under Dr. Angha’s leadership, helps to support the Women’s Wisdom Women in Action Service Appreciation grant program and speaker series. She also serves on the editorial team for Sufism: An Inquiry and as an educator and co-founder of a Bay Area educational nonprofit.  


Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph.D., is a member of the Sufi Women Organization council and a member of the International Association of Sufism. Having attended all girls’ schools and a women’s college she recognizes the gift she received in being well supported and empowered throughout her life and she has felt called to support other women. She is a clinical psychologist with a private practice. Her clinical interests include increasing self esteem and self confidence, especially for women, pregnancy/post partum, anxiety and existential/transpersonal explorations. Her dissertation and subsequent publications have focused on the potential for higher states of self development and direct knowing as taught by Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. She holds a second degree black belt in Aikido.

Amineh Amelia Pryor, Ph.D., has been an active member of SWO since its inception. She serves on the planning council and has been involved in many SWO and other humanitarian and service-oriented projects and programs. Dr. Pryor has a background in community-based mental health and is the co-director of the Community Healing Centers, a non-profit psychotherapy practice in San Francisco and Marin. She is an international presenter on Sufism and psychology and has published books and written numerous articles on psychology, spirituality, and science. 

Under the auspices of Dr. Nahid Angha, founder of the Sufi Women Organization (SWO), a department of the International Association of Sufism, Nancy Roybal has been active member of the SWO Council from 2012 to the present. She is the editor of the Sufi Women Quarterly Newsletter. She has served on the Harvest fundraising committee, and supports the recipients of the Women’s Wisdom Women in Action service appreciation grant program. Nancy is a key member of the Women Wisdom Women in Action lecture series committee and the Marin Interfaith Council board of directors. She is a women’s rights activist with a long history of promoting active relationships with international humanitarian organizations.


Becoming a member of the Sufi Women Organization is the best way to connect with a truly diverse group of like-minded women from around the world while supporting the many humanitarian, social service projects of SWO. Join us today!

Upcoming Events

Women’s Wisdom in Action: the Luncheon presentation Lizellen La Follette, MD,  will be rescheduled, date TBD.

Recent Events

Wellness & Wellbeing for Families & Teachers in a Time of Transition, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The virtual conversation between health care providers and educators as they shared their experience of the last school year was well attended. Please click here for a report of the event.

Articles on Women in Islam and Religion

The Position and Rights in Women In Islam (presentation)

Women in the Qur’an

The Role of Women in Religion: A Shifting Paradigm


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